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Title: "Mundane" artifacts
Authors: Quek, Benjamin Wei Xian
Keywords: Visual arts and music::Visual arts
Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Quek, B. W. X. (2022). "Mundane" artifacts. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Obscured by a reputation of wealth and success, many marginalised and socially disadvantaged communities often live hidden in Singapore. Due to its inconspicuous nature, it is unsurprising why so many creative professionals (i.e., artists or designers) do not instinctively connect their craft to the ecology of care. This project is an extension of a previous research (of a similar topic) done by the author and seeks to further develop the collaboration between design and the social sciences. This project looks at the chronic socio-economic issue of homelessness and speculates on how Singapore can be friendlier and more empowering towards homeless people by using the lens of design. First, I collected information related to the experience of homelessness through field research. Second, empathetic deliverables that engender change or promote discussion are thereafter proposed and developed. As a result of these methods, one prominent discovery is the prevalence of anti-homeless features in Singapore’s public street furniture scene, and how the effects of homelessness in Singapore is exacerbated, in part, by it. Although the term ‘street furniture’ can refer to a variety of things, it more pertinently refers to benches that have anti-homeless features incorporated seamlessly, and sometimes unknowingly, into its design; also known as hostile or defensive architecture. “Mundane” Artifacts is a creative response that debates the ethicality of anti-homeless design features and their place in Singapore’s community. Undergirded by well-founded philosophical perspectives (Don Idhe’s multistability of technology and Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory) and a critical investigation of the local socio-political context, the project ultimately takes the viewer through two stages: informing them about the ubiquitous, but elusive, issue of anti-homeless design in the public sphere, and subsequently, inviting them to explore an alternative future reality, one that affords greater care and inclusion towards homeless people.
Schools: School of Art, Design and Media 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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